Sea Containers Information and FAQ's
The use of redundant steel shipping containers, otherwise known as “Sea Containers” for the purposes of storage on residential, commercial and industrial properties is not uncommon. This information sheet explains the requirements for the approval of and general requirements relating to locating a sea container on site for this purpose. This Information Sheet and FAQ’s should be used as a guide only. Before undertaking any development or works in this regard, please discuss your intentions with the Shire. If you need to make a development or a building application your time and money can be saved if you are thoroughly prepared.
What can I use the sea container for?
The sea container can only be used for the storage of items and goods related to the primary use on the site. For example, on a residential site the sea container shall be used only for the storage of items and household goods only. Similar for industrial sites, the storage shall be for the purposes of the industrial use on the site only.
Under no circumstances, can a sea container be used for habitation, regardless of where it is located.
Where can the sea container be located?
A sea container cannot be located on a vacant or abandoned site. The sea container must be located on the site to which the storage relates to or is for. Approval for use of a sea container on a vacant residential site where it relates to the storage of items for the construction of a residential dwelling may be sought.
What about safety and structural integrity of the sea container?
All sea containers are considered to be sufficient structurally, subject to them being adequately tied down or fixed. As such, a Structural Engineer’s design for the tie down of the sea container is required to be provided in support of any application.
Do I need to lodge any applications?
A Building Permit is required for any sea container on any site as they are a structure as defined under the Building Code of Australia.
Depending on the size of the sea container, you may also require a Development Application.
For a sea container located on a residential site, you may not need to lodge a Development Application if the following minimum requirements can be met:
- Does not exceed a wall height of 2.4m;
- Is not located within the primary or secondary street setback area (nominally 6m and 10m respectively)
- Is a minimum of 1.5m from the side and rear boundary, unless otherwise specified;
The site coverage of all outbuildings, including the sea container, does not exceed 60sqm in area or 10% of the site area, whichever is lesser
The amount of open space on site is not reduced or adversely impacted.
For any sea container located on a commercial or industrial site, a Development Application is required to be lodged and approved by Shire prior to the mobilisation and use of the sea container onto the site, and prior to a Building Permit being issued.
Before undertaking any development or works, please discuss your intentions with the Shire. If you need to make a development or a building application your time and money can be saved if you are thoroughly prepared.
Please contact the Building Services or Planning Team on 9188 4444 for further assistance and queries.
For information on how to apply for a Building or Planning Permit please refer below:
Last updated: 29 October 2020